June 25, 2008

Publicis Groupe Launches VivaKi: A New Growth Engine for the New Media and Digital Environment

PARIS, June 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Publicis Groupe today announced the launch of VivaKi, a new strategic initiative designed to significantly improve the performance of advertisers' marketing investments as well as boost Publicis Groupe's growth in the context of rapidly expanding digital markets. VivaKi will be led by Managing Partners Jack Klues and David Kenny, both members of Publicis Groupe's Management Board.

VivaKi will take advantage of the combined scale of the autonomous operations of Digitas, Starcom MediaVest, Denuo and ZenithOptimedia to develop new services, new tools, and new partnerships. The strategic move reflects Publicis Groupe's conviction that a totally new and more integrated organization of the media, interactive, analog and digital universes is necessary in order to leverage scale and technological innovation, the key determinants of future success.

Maurice Levy, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, commented: "The explosion of digital over the last ten years has led to a revolution without precedent in economic history -- in terms of the incredible speed of change, its geographical reach and its depth (the world today has at least 1.7 billion Internet users). Our societies are being transformed before our very eyes: the way people are educated, gather information, entertain themselves, meet each other, dialogue and do business is being profoundly influenced around the planet by the digital, interactive and mobile phone environments. Our business is undergoing equally vast changes. We are witnessing the creation of new global giants (such as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo) as well as a redefinition of our business models thanks to the blurring of boundaries: geographic, professional, as well as between content and distribution or roles regarding content generation.

In order to help our clients rethink their marketing and improve the performance of their media investments in this new world, we have built a leadership position by integrating digital capabilities in all our agencies, by acquiring Digitas and through striking innovative partnerships with new players such as Google.

We are today taking a decisive and transformational step by profoundly modifying the Groupe's organization, by redirecting investments toward digital and by instituting a significant change in our professional approach. All these changes will make our agencies and networks even more competitive and will help our clients build better connections with their audiences by increasing the efficiency and productivity of their marketing investments. In reinforcing our leadership in these new areas, we fully intend to benefit from the surge in this sector's growth and to win substantial new market share."

   The VivaKi Difference   VivaKi is sharply differentiated by four essential elements:    1. Scale - this is a key factor unleashing value for our clients as they      face large new actors in the media landscape. Publicis Groupe      today has the necessary size for global leadership in its sector. The      Groupe is now further leveraging its scale by aligning resources and      the power of its operations under VivaKi.    2. Innovation -- by building the VivaKi Nerve Center at the heart of the      new entity, Publicis Groupe is fulfilling several objectives:    - Creating the world's largest center for developing the new technologies     necessary to our clients' future growth    - Making the resources of the VivaKi Nerve Center available to all Groupe     entities, including our creative agencies    - Bringing our clients the best solutions to improve performance     marketing, relations with platforms (MSN, Google, Yahoo) or social     networks (MySpace, Facebook, etc), as well as integrated media     solutions and the optimization of data analysis and return on     investments.    3. Technology -- the approach of Publicis Groupe rests on Open      Source systems giving it access to all available innovations and      solutions. Proprietary tools will however be developed, such as      Navigator(R) and Insight Factory(R). Links will be developed with      digital platforms, cable operators, telcos and media supports to      improve exchanges and to benefit form leveraging scale.    4. Talents -- with the shaking up of our industry, new more      flexible and more diversified talents -- liquid talents -- will be      critical. Finding and developing such talent will be a core competency      of VivaKi, through the new training and career development programs      offered by its Talent Development Platform.    

The different entities (Digitas, Starcom MediaVest, Denuo and ZenithOptimedia) will continue to develop solutions specific to each of their clients, in a totally independent way - all supported by the VivaKi Nerve Center and the Talent Development Platform.

The VivaKi Management Teams

Jack Klues and David Kenny are Managing Partners of VivaKi, functions which reflect a shift from a traditional hierarchical management approach.

Within VivaKi, David Kenny will focus on identifying advantages linked to scale (VivaKi Nerve Center, Talent Development Platform and Technology); Jack Klues will be responsible for growing and developing brand-specific solutions.

According to David Kenny: "VivaKi's scale creates unparalleled advantages for our clients. It allows us to invest in training and developing the best talent, to sustain the strongest open-source technology platform, and to provide strong and impactful solutions to our media partners."

Laura Lang is promoted CEO of Digitas replacing David Kenny.

Starcom MediaVest, ZenithOptimedia and Denuo will continue to be led by their current CEO's -- Laura Desmond, Steve King, and Rishad Tobaccowala.

   Curt Hecht will lead the VivaKi Nerve Center.   Renetta McCann will organize and activate the Talent Development Platform.  

Said Jack Klues: "Starcom MediaVest Groupe, ZenithOptimedia and Digitas will take what they need from VivaKi to strengthen their existing operations. They will continue to operate in a completely independent way, developing customized solutions for clients. At the same time, these clients will benefit from VivaKi's ability to deliver proprietary tools as well as advantages of scale -- helping clients reinforce links to consumers in a more cost effective way."

The VivaKi Name

The name VivaKi is derived from the word "viva" which means life, and "ki" (or Qi) which is often translated as energy flow. According to Levy, the Groupe sought a name that signified a new frontier - a new lead solution in the digital era.

Publicis Groupe is the world's fourth largest communications group. In addition, it is ranked as the world's second largest media counsel and buying group, and is a global leader in digital and healthcare communications. With activities spanning 104 countries on five continents, the Groupe employs approximately 44,000 professionals.

The Groupe offers local and international clients a complete range of communication services, through three autonomous global advertising networks, Leo Burnett, Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi and two multi-hub networks, Fallon and 49%-owned Bartle Bogle Hegarty; to media consultancy and buying, through two worldwide networks, Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia; interactive and digital marketing led by Digitas; Specialized Agencies and Marketing Services offering healthcare communications, corporate and financial communications, sustainability communications, shopper marketing, public relations, CRM and direct marketing, event and sports marketing, and multicultural communications.

   Web Site: http://www.publicisgroupe.com/   About SMG  

Ranked one of the largest brand communications groups in the world, Starcom MediaVest Group encompasses an integrated network of highly specialized consumer contact companies. SMG's global organization includes strategic marketing communication architects who are highly specialized in media management, search, response media, internet and digital communications, as well as multicultural, entertainment, mobile, sports sponsorship and directory marketing. A subsidiary of Paris-based Publicis Groupe, SMG employs 5,800 contact experts in 67 markets worldwide and delivers business-building results for many of the world's leading companies.

   Web Site : http://www.smvgroup.com/   About Digitas  

Digitas is one of the world's leading digital marketing and media companies. The Digitas marketing engine marries art (creativity and insight) and science (analytics, delivery, media, measurement, strategy and technology) to help global companies develop, engage and profit from their customer relationships. Digitas also operates Prodigious Worldwide, the dedicated digital productions company. Digitas is a member of the Paris-based Publicis Groupe S.A. (Euronext Paris: FR0000130577), the world's fourth largest communications group and second largest media counsel and buying group.

   Web Site: http://www.digitas.com/   ZenithOptimedia  

ZenithOptimedia is one of the world's leading global media services agencies with 195 offices in 70 countries. Key clients include Alcatel-Lucent, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, British Airways, Electrolux, General Mills, Giorgio Armani Parfums, Hewlett-Packard, Kingfisher, Mars, MBNA Europe, Nestle, L'Oreal, Puma, Polo Ralph Lauren, Qantas, Richemont Group, Sanofi-Aventis, Siemens, Thomson Multimedia, Toyota/Lexus, Verizon, Whirlpool, Wyeth and Zurich.

ZenithOptimedia is committed to delivering to clients the best possible return on their advertising investment. This approach is supported by a unique system for strategy development and implementation, The ROI Blueprint. At each stage, proprietary ZOOM (ZenithOptimedia Optimisation of Media) tools have been designed to add value and insight. The ZenithOptimedia Village enables the widest range of communications opportunities and skills to be brought together to ensure the most powerful connections are made with consumers.

Web Site : http://www.zenithoptimedia.com/

Publicis Groupe

CONTACT: CONTACTS: Publicis Groupe: Peggy Nahmany, CorporateCommunications: +33(0)1-44-43-72-83; Martine Hue, Investor Relations:+33(0)1-44-43-65-00; VivaKi: Cheri Carpenter, +1-312-446-9276; Digitas:Samantha DiGennaro, +1-212-966-9525